Four Elms - Sunday , 29th July 2001
Yeah, the match. Slight convolution at start as TP thought we had 11 rather than the actual 10 and, for genuine domestic reasons did not arriveuntil lunch. By then Roger Finlay had convinced Richard Holden that Rich should do the captaincy honours which was fine apart from losing the loss on the scorching day with added humidity, thereby condemning us to fielding through the hottest part of a hot day against a team comprised mainly of three families (4 Allmans - not apparently old Southern rockers, 2 Conlons (twins) and another father-son combination whose surname I can't recall).
At times bowling was effective and good, especially early in each bowler'sfirst spells before dehydration set in. However, rather too frequent full tosses and a fast and uneven outfield assisted the opposition cause, and whilst fielding was generally sound (six catches and a run out) they eventually declared after 48 overs at 228-7. Wickets to Philip Bartle (2), Graham Dietrichs, TP, Roger F (ct TP despite TP's crocked foot) and skipper Rich. Two outfield catches to Peter Tippen. Also noteworthy were ultra picturesque surroundings, flowers in front of the pavilion (which seems to have had a positive makeover since my last appearance there in 1993), and an extraordinary assortment of passing flying craft.
Target not ungettable but a LNZCC top order suffering from solar effects decided to alternate between hari-kari and being unable to fathom a mystery curve ball from the "younger" Conlon (6-43). Result, a rather inexplicable and (in relation to Conlon's bowling) coincidental 43-6. Fortunately this heralded the appearance of a rather stubborn TP and with the whole lower order calling up the nearby ghosts of Sir Winston Churchill (i.e. Chartwell) we saved the day at 139-9 (after 43 overs for a draw). Dave MacMillan reached 33, but the finest hour came from Graham Dietrichs with 35 not out who skilfully also shielded skipper Rich from the strike for most of the last 9 overs. (Mind you, Rich was so solid for his 5 not out that shielding him may not have been necessary. After suffering in the heat, neither he nor the other bowlers were in any mood to lose!)
In the end an honourable win-win draw where everyone went home happy(except perhaps the opposition opener who foolishly failed to turn down a suicidal call). Lots of talk of wineries and hill country estates, readings from the Sunday News of the Screws and musings on fatherhood and life.
If you want all the LNZCC bowling figures and batting scores you'll have toconsult the scorebook, I omitted to take note of them all. One bit of little known trivia, however: the one and only previous occasion when Andy Swann and John McMullan played in the same LNZCC team - Hartley Wintney in 1996 - number 11 Richard Holden (1 not out) batted out through 13 overs (with "Hoggy" I think) for an equally honourable draw.
Scoreboard Four Elms 228-7 Dec LNZ 139-9 Match Drawn
Runs 4s 6s
Graham Dietrichs 35*
Dave MacMillan 33